Piazza Signs With Padres

RotoWorld and other sources are reporting that the Padres have signed Mike Piazza to a one-year, $2MM deal with an $8MM mutual option for 2007.  The Padres were one of a handful of teams that stood to better their club by acquiring Piazza or Bengie Molina.  At this point, Molina should be begging the Angels to take him back, as they’re one of the few teams he can help.

The Padres probably added 2 or 3 wins by signing Piazza, so they’re getting good bang for their buck.  There’s approximately zero chance they exercise that 2007 option.  Here’s a look at some various projections on him for 2006:

PECOTA:  .253/.329/.420 with 11 HR in 333 PA
Bill James:  .268/.349/.476 with 24 HR in 456 ABs
RotoAuthority:  .272, 24 HR in 460 ABs
ZiPS:  .239/.328/.411 with 16 HR in 394 ABs

PECOTA expects a pretty big decline and the smallest amount of playing time.  ZiPS is also not very optimistic on the catcher.  Bill James and I were picturing a rejuvenated Piazza as an AL DH, so my projection is going to require a major adjustment.  ZiPS may have hit the mark, as Piazza is entering a home ballpark that has suppressed right-handers’ home runs by a whopping 41%.  The changes to PETCO will affect the right field power alley, but Piazza has been known for his opposite field power in the past.

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